Advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has warned that nothing untoward or sinister must happen to the executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.
This followed a high-profile alarm raised in the media by Bawa that a ‘big-man’ had threatened to kill him. HURIWA in a statement signed jointly by National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Director of Media Zainab Yusuf, said: “We believe that the appointment of this youngster as the substantive chairman of the EFCC could be a fresh breath into the increasingly waning and ethically diminished anti-graft crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Seeing his refreshing youthfulness and his expressed or vocalised zeal to battle relentlessly the hydra-headed monster of economic crimes especially among top flight government officials, we are hereby expressing our solidarity with the chairman and urging the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to extend the best protection available, humanly speaking, to his trusted appointee who seems to have started well, so his adversaries will not put him in the way of harm or danger.”
The rights body said further: “If anything happens to him, then it will be well known that forces embedded within the administration are the key suspects, given the unprecedented quantum of sophisticated and crude economic crimes and corruption that have eroded the few gains made by the six-year old administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. ”
“So, it is in the self-enlightened interest of President Muhammadu Buhari that Abdulrasheed Bawa and other officers of the EFCC are protected from any sort of sinister violent plot.” Bawa had raised the alarm while appearing on the Sunrise Daily programme on Channels Television.
The EFCC boss said: “Last week, I was in New York, as all Nigerians are aware. A very senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“What he (the caller) said to him on phone is that he is going to kill the EFCC chairman, the young man. He said, ‘I am going to kill him. I am going to kill him’. This is to tell you how bad it is. It is actually real. Corruption can fight back.”
Asked if he meant he had been receiving death threats, the EFCC chairman said, “Yes”. In another development, HURIWA asked the Senate not to confirm a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
It said: “We believe that Onochie who openly confessed her membership to the All Progressives Congress and has posted a lot of statements on popular social media platforms to demonstrate her aversion for multiparty democracy but prefers a one party state, is not a fit and proper person to be so appointed into INEC.